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Thursday, December 15, 2011

NL DPis Preview

#4 Kansas City Crusaders (79-83) vs. #5 New York Ramrods (93-69)
Final Rankings - KC Not Ranked, New York #12
Regular Season - New York won 7 out of 10, but KC had a +1 run differential
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Alexi Terrero (15-11) vs. Mitchell Cameron (13-6)
Game 2 - Brian Williams (4-6) vs. Randy Shelley (10-8)
Game 3 - Sandy Ramsey (11-10) vs. Ramon Chen (10-12)

Fun facts - Chen has an ERA over 6 in 15 playoff appearences. Ramsey, Williams, and Chen were all top FA signings in the last 4 seasons.
Prediction - KC has the horses, but they are very tired. However, their pitching is far superior. KC in 5

#3 Helena Hustle (95-67) vs. #6 Louisville Bats (86-76)
Final Rankings - Helena #6, Louisville #8
Regular Season - Split 10 games, run differential even
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Richard Aoki (16-9) vs. Manny Ramsey (10-10)
Game 2 - Cristobal Molina (15-9) vs. Julio Lopez (16-7)
Game 3 - Angel Palmeiro (9-13) vs. Jeff Woods (5-3)
Fun Facts - Helena just won the World Series. Louisville is making its first ever appearance in 22 seasons. Woods and Aoki were two of the top Season 21 free agent signings.
Prediction - Louisville in 5. batgecko is due and Helena could be suffering from a World Series hangover. Additionally, after firing its manager after the Game 1 debacle, the 'Ville is focused and motivated.

AL DPiS Preview

#4 St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) vs. #5 Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (98-64)

Final Rankings - St. Louis #11, Philly #4
Regular Season - Split 5-5, Philly +13 run differential
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Stevie Waters (11-10) vs. Anthony Patterson (19-9)
Game 2 - Sammy Duran (12-11) vs. Timothy Crawford (16-7)
Game 3 - Marvin Campbell (7-9) vs. Mule Service (9-6)
Fun facts - In Season 18, St. Louis beat Philly in 4 games in the DPiS. Despite evidence to the contrary, Mule Service is his name, not what he does.
Prediction - Philly will be too much for St. Louis, unless Clinton Clifton gets hot. Philly in 4

#3 Jacksonville TIMUCUAN'S (95-67) vs. #6 Salem Aggies (88-74)

Final Rankings - JAX #3, Salem #10
Regular Season - Series split 5-5, JAX +1 run differential
Probable Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Phil Pride (15-6) vs. Hick Manning (19-11)
Game 2 - Derrek Peters (15-6) vs. Hub Brooks (14-11)
Game 3 - Chad Long (16-10) vs. Pedro Calvo (12-9)
Fun Facts - All six probable starters were 1st round draft picks. 4 of the 6 were drafted in the top 10.
Prediction - I hate to go with the favorites, but Jacksonville is just too good. Manning vs. Pride might happen twice, but I just don't see Manning winning both of those games. JAX in 4.

Final Rankings

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (109-53) Pre-season #1 - NL North Champ and AL #1 Seed
2. Durham Tar Heels (101-61) Pre-season #6 - NL East Champ and AL #2 Seed
3. Jacksonville TIMUACAN'S (95-67) Pre-season #5 - NL South Champ and AL #3 Seed
4. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (98-64) Pre-season #3 - NL Wild Card #1 and AL #5 Seed
5.Chicago Black Sox (96-66) - Pre-season NR - NL East Champ and NL #1 Seed
6 Helena Hustle (95-67) - Pre-season #4 - NL West Champ and NL #3 Seed
7 Memphis Blue's (95-67) - Pre-season NR - NL South Champ and NL #2 Seed
8. Louisville Bats (86-76) - Pre-season NR - NL Wild Card #2 and NL #6 Seed
9. Los Angeles Hollywoods (84-78) - Pre-season #8 - Missed playoffs
10. Salem Aggies (88-74) - Pre-season NR - AL Wild Card #2 and AL #6 Seed

11. St. Louis
12. New York
13. Houston

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Updated NL Playoff Picture

5 games to go!

1. Chicago - NL East Champ (4 game lead) and overall #1 seed (2 game lead)
2. Memphis - clinched NL South Champ and overall #2 seed (1 game lead)
3. Helena - clinched NL West Champ and at least overall #3 seed
4. Kansas City - NL North Champ (2 game lead) and overall #4 seed
5. New York - Clinched at least Wild Card #2
6. Louisville - Wild Card #2 (2 game lead)

Everything is up for grabs! Chicago, Memphis, Helena, and New York are all still alive for the #1 overall seed. KC is being chased by two teams in the do or die North. Louisville is hanging on for dear life and their first playoff berth.

So, the two best races are still the #2 Wild Card and the NL North championship.

NL North Analysis

The Standings
1. Kansas City 75-82
2. Cleveland 73-84
3. Detroit 72-85

The Contenders

Kansas City
So the two teams that KC is chasing have both dealt their stars mid-season. Does anyone want to win this division? Enter mwelker and his, until now, perennial doormat Crusaders. mwelker has his detracters (that will happen with 5 consecutive seasons of losing 100 games or more), but he has a plan and has shown improvement in 3 consecutive seasons. He looks primed to take over for davidlove at the top of the North. The Crusaders are led by the offense of David Wanatabe and the pitching of, well, nobody. His pitching has improved a bit, and they will need it now to hold off the challengers.

Cleveland
davidlove has dominated the North, winning 9 out of 16 division championships. A trade of 8x all-star Louis Spence signaled a rebuilding effort, but the offensive efforts of Quinn Portugal and the pitching of Ken Howington have kept them just 2 games out of the division lead.

Detroit
mtorab has 1 divsion title and 1 world series win in his 21 seasons in 1530 Homer. His Tigers were the off-season champs and looked primed for a run at a World Series title. A mid-season trade of Benji Neill likely ended those dreams, but a division title is still within grasp. MVP favorite (and a very tired) Cristobal Mantalban leads the offense while Gustavo Melo is the best of the SP's. They will need better production out of Benji Pulido if they are to make the playoffs.


Remaining Schedule
Kansas City - 2 vs. Detroit, 3 vs. Pittsburgh
Cleveland - 2 vs. Pittsburgh, 3 vs. Detroit
Detroit - 2 vs. Kansas City, 3 vs. Cleveland

Prediction
I'll still take the experience of davidlove and Cleveland, but they will need the help of Detroit.

Wild Card #2 Analysis

The Standings

1. Louisville (85-72)
1. Los Angeles (83-74)
3. Houston (80-77)

The Contenders

Louisville
batgecko is finally seeing his work pay off after 5 disappointing seasons. Will the WIS gods ever stop punishing him with injuries? Welington Chavez leads a potent offense while Julio Lopez is the most productive on a very good staff. The returns of Antonio Graves and Jeff Woods have improved their chances.

Los Angeles
Is the tytabs era over? He has won 6 of the last 8 division titles, but is having his worst year in 10 seasons. The Hollywoods are led by silky smooth mustachioed Rube Swann and newly re-signed Orval Gonzales. Luis Morales is the key to LA catching Louisville.

Houston
pmuehlenkamp has.......nevermind, look it up for yourself. If you care enough to be reading this you know that he is the most successful owner in 1530 (all due respect, nhollan). The Hangovers are led by the smooth sounds of The Goose and the pitching of future HOF'r Dave Darr. Geraldo Mendez must pick it up if they are to keep from missing the playoffs for the 2nd time in franchise history.

Remaining Schedules
Louisville - 2 vs. Houston, 3 vs. Memphis
Los Angeles - 2 vs. Helena, 3 vs. SF
Houston - 2 VS. Louisville, 3 vs. Montgomery

Prediction
Louisville is in teh driver's seat, but has a brutal remaining schedule. Houston must sweep the remaining games to have a chance, and LA may sneak in if it can sweep SF. My money is still on Louisville.

Updated AL Playoff Picture

With only 5 games left on the schedule, their is still some drama left. Those in BOLD have clinched playoff berth

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (clinched #1 Seed and AL North Champ)
2. Durham Tar Heels (likely #2 Seed and likely AL East Champ)
3. Jacksonville TIMUCUAN'S (likely #3 Seed and clinched AL South Champ)
4. St. Louis Cardinals (likely #4 seed and likely AL West Champ)
5. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (at least #5 Seed and at least Wild Card #1)
6. Salem Aggies (#6 Seed and likely Wild Card #2)

Cincinnati has locked up the overall #1 seed. Durham or Philly will be the #2 seed. Jacksonville has clinched the South and has a 5 game lead on St. Louis for the #3 seed. Salem has lost their lead in the South and now trails St. Louis by 2 games, but leads for the Wild Card #2 spot by 3 over Montreal and OKC.


AL West Analysis

The Standings
1. St Louis 87-70
2. Salem 85-72

The Contenders

St. Louis
2000man had won his division in 11 of his 22 1530 Homer seasons. The Cards are led by Archie Herzner on offense and the quasi-albino Blade Fox on the mound. Future HOF'r Clinton Clifton is still in a relative slump, but they have picked up the slack elsewhere.

Salem
The Aggies have finished 3rd of 4th in every one of dubabe's 7 seasons. This year is a new story. Led by Dutch Velarde and Keith Roosevelt on offense and emerging ace Hick Manning, Salem has produced one of the more dramatic turn arounds in 1530 history, but can they make the playoffs?

Remaining schedule
Salem - 2 vs. St. Louis, 3 vs. Vancouver
St. Louis - 2 vs. Salem, 3 vs. Fresno

Prediction
St. Louis has been on fire and there is no reason to believe that they will be slowing down. If Salem can win the next two games vs. St. Louis, then they do have a more favorable remaining schedule. One more win in the series by St. Louis will give them the tie-breaker vs. Salem, which will likely put the division out of reach.

Wild Card #2 Analysis

The Standings
1. Salem 85-72
2. Oklahoma City 82-75
3. Montreal 82-75

The Contenders

Salem
The Aggies have finished 3rd of 4th in every one of dubabe's 7 seasons. This year is a new story. Led by Dutch Velarde and Keith Roosevelt on offense and emerging ace Hick Manning, Salem has produced one of the more dramatic turn arounds in 1530 history.

Oklahoma City
robyoung is attempting to make the playoffs for the first time since season 16. Newcomer Alex Limon leads the offense, while B.C. Vincente leads the pitching staff with his best season yet. Youngster Jesus Bautista must play better

Montreal
nhollan and his perennial powerhouse are seeking their 17th consecutive playoff appearance. They are led by MVP candidate (winner?) Henry Wise on offense and ace Sammy Iglesias. They must get better production out of Bill Reed if they are going to catch the challengers.

Remaining Schedule
Salem - 2 vs. St. Louis, 3 vs. Vancouver
Oklahoma City - 2 vs. Jacksonville, 3 vs. New Orleans
Montreal - 2 vs. SLC, 3 vs. Cincinnati


Prediction
It's hard to bet against Montreal, but making up 3 games with 6 to play is going to be difficult. They do have an easy schedule if Cincy rests their guys for the playoffs. OKC does not have an easy game remaining. My bet is Salem.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 7 Rankings

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (93-41) Prev #1 - The Redlegs were 8-4 for the week vs. Top 10 teams and show no signs of relinquishing the top spot. They are 1st in Batting, 3rd in Pitching, and 2nd to last in Fielding. Run differential +293

2. Durham Tar Heels (86-48) Prev #2 - The Tar Heels were 4-3 for the week vs. Top 10 teams. They are 4th in Batting, 12th in Pitching, and 2nd in Fielding. Run differential +162

3. Chicago Black Sox (82-52) Prev #7 - The Sox had a very good week, although they did not play any Top 10 teams. They are 12th in Batting, 4th in Pitching, and 9th in Fielding. Run differential +127

4. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (80-54) Prev #4 - The BG's hold steady after a week of 3-1 ball vs. the #1 team. They are 2nd in Batting, 13th in Pitching, and below average in Fielding. Run differential +137

5. Jacksonville TIMUACAN'S (77-57) Prev #3 - JAX drops after losing 13 of their last 18 games (including losing 6 of 7 to the top two teams). They are 6th in Batting, 11th in Pitching, and 4th in Fielding. Run differential +126

6. Memphis Blue's (81-53) Prev #5 - The Blue's were 4-2 for the week vs. Top 10 teams. They are below average in Batting, 1st in Pitching, and 8th in Fielding. Run differential +83

7. Helena Hustle (76-58) prev #6 - The Hustle were 1-2 on the week vs. top 10 teams. They are above average in Batting, 7th in Pitching, and below average in Fielding. Run differential + 107

8. Los Angeles Hollywoods (70-64) Prev #8 - The Hollywoods hold steady after an average week. They are 9-9 in their last 18 games, all against non-Top 10 teams. They are below average in Batting, 2nd in Pitching, and above average in Fielding. Run differential +70

9. St. Louis Cardinals (71-63) Prev NR - The Cards are getting hot at the right time - winning 11 of their last 13 games. They are average in Batting, 9th in Pitching, and 12th in Fielding. Run differential +47

10. New York Ramrods (77-57) Prev NR - The Ramrods debut after winning 12 of their last 18 games. They are below average in Batting, 6th in Pitching, and 7th in Fielding. Run differential +32

Dropped
9. Houston Hangovers
10. Salem Aggies

Just Missed
Salem
Louisville
Houston

Friday, December 2, 2011

NL Playoff Picture

With only a quarter of the season left, the playoff picture is coming into focus. As of today, the NL playoffs would look like this:

1. Memphis - NL South Champ and overall #1 seed
2. Chicago - NL East Champ and overall #2 seed
3. Helena - NL West Champ and overall #3 seed
4. Detroit - NL North Champ and overall #4 seed
5. New York - Wild Card #1 and #5 seed
6. Los Angeles - Wild Card #2 and #6 seed

The top two seeds will most likely be Memphis and Chicago, with Helena having a chance at a first round bye if they get hot. Memphis is the only division leader that has a commanding lead. New York can slip in to a #1 or #2 seed if they can catch Chicago, with the runner-up likely locked in to the #1 Wild Card spot. Only 11 games are between first and last in the West, with LA the only real threat to Helena's title run.

So, the two best races are for the #2 Wild Card and the NL North championship.


NL North Analysis

The Standings
1. Detroit (61-64)
2. Cleveland (60-65)
3. Kansas City (57-68)

The Contenders

Detroit
mtorab has 1 divsion title and 1 world series win in his 21 seasons in 1530 Homer. His Tigers were the off-season champs and looked primed for a run at a World Series title. A mid-season trade of Benji Neill likely ended those dreams, but a division title is still within grasp. MVP favorite (and a very tired) Cristobal Mantalban leads the offense while Gustavo Melo is the best of the SP's. They will need better production out of Benji Pulido if they are to make any noise in the playoffs.

Cleveland
davidlove has dominated the North, winning 9 out of 16 division championships. A trade of 8x all-star Louis Spence signaled a rebuilding effort, but the offensive efforts of Quinn Portugal and the pitching of Ken Howington have kept them just 1 game out of the division lead.

Kansas City
So the two teams that KC is chasing have both dealt their stars mid-season. Does anyone want to win this division? Enter mwelker and his, until now, perennial doormat Crusaders. mwelker has his detracters (that will happen with 5 consecutive seasons of losing 100 games or more), but he has a plan and has shown improvement in 3 consecutive seasons. He looks primed to take over for davidlove at the top of the North. The Crusaders are led by the offense of David Wanatabe and the pitching of, well, nobody. His entire staff in underperforming, and will need to step it up if mwelker has any chance of reeling in Cleveland and Detroit.

Remaining Schedule
Detroit - 11 games vs teams w/ winning record. 3 vs KC, 3 vs CLE
Cleveland - 13 games vs teams w/ winning record. 3 vs DET, 3 vs KC
Kansas City - 18 games vs teams w/ winning record. 3 vs DET, 3 vs CLE

Prediction
It's hard to pick teams that have both traded away their best player. But KC has shown no momentum and has the most difficult remaining schedule. I'll take the experience of davidlove and Cleveland, but only because DET's Mantalban is wearing down.

Wild Card #2 Analysis

The Standings

1. Los Angeles (66-59)
2. Louisville (66-59)
3. Houston (64-61)

The Contenders

Los Angeles
Is the tytabs era over? He has won 6 of the last 8 division titles, but is having his worst year in 10 seasons and trails by 4 games in his division. The Hollywoods are led by silky smooth mustachioed Rube Swann and newly re-signed Orval Gonzales. Luis Morales is the key to LA holding off the challengers.

Louisville
batgecko is finally seeing his work pay off after 5 disappointing seasons. Will the WIS gods ever stop punishing him with injuries? Welington Chavez leads a potent offense while Julio Lopez is the most productive on a very good staff. The expected returns of Antonio Graves and Jeff Woods will bolster their chances.

Houston
pmuehlenkamp has.......nevermind, look it up for yourself. If you care enough to be reading this you know that he is the most successful owner in 1530 (all due respect, nhollan). The Hangovers are led by the smooth sounds of The Goose and the pitching of future HOF'r Dave Darr. Geraldo Mendez must pick it up if they are to keep from missing the playoffs for the 2nd time in franchise history.

Remaining Schedules
Los Angeles - 14 games vs teams w/ winning record, 4 vs Houston
Louisville - 14 games vs teams w/ winning record, 4 vs Houston
Houston - 16 games vs teams w/ winning record, 4 vs LA, 4 vs LOU

Prediction
LA and HOU are seasoned vets with beefy resumes, and the newcomer from the Lou will be boosted by the return of some solid players off of the DL. LA appears to be the most rested of the three and Houston has the most difficult remaining schedule. My bet is LA, but I wouldn't be surprised if LOU sneaks in.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

AL Playoff Picture

With only a quarter of the season left, the playoff picture is coming into focus. As of today, the AL playoffs would look like this:

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (#1 Seed and AL North Champ)
2. Durham Tar Heels (#2 Seed and AL East Champ)
3. Jacksonville TIMUCUAN'S (#3 Seed and AL South Champ)
4. Salem Aggies (#4 Seed and AL West Champ)
5. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (#5 Seed and Wild Card #1)
6. Montreal Garde Imperiale (#6 Seed and Wild Card #2)

Cincinnati has all but locked up the overall #1 seed. Durham leads Jacksonville by 4 games for the #2 seed and Philly by 6.5 games in the East. Jacksonville has an 11 game (insurmountable?) lead in the South. Salem is in the most tenuous position of the AL division leaders as they lead St. Louis by 3.5 and Fresno by 6 in the West. Philly has a commanding 8.5 game lead for the Wild Card #1 spot and would seem a lock for the playoffs.

So really, there are two competitively open - the West Division winner and the Wild Card #2 spot. Accordingly.......


AL West Analysis

The Standings
1. Salem 65-58
2. St. Louis 61-61
3. Fresno 59-64
4. Vancouver Otters 42-80

The Contenders

Salem
The Aggies have finished 3rd of 4th in every one of dubabe's 7 seasons. This year is a new story. Led by Dutch Velarde and Keith Roosevelt on offense and emerging ace Hick Manning, Salem has produced one of the more dramatic turn arounds in 1530 history. They have been in teh Top 10 5 of the 6 weeks and show little sign of wearing down.

St. Louis
2000man had won his division in 11 of his 22 1530 Homer seasons. The Cards are led by Archie Herzner on offense and the quasi-albino Blade Fox on the mound. Future HOF'r Clinton Clifton will need to step up if this team has a chance of catching Salem.

Fresno
joepatrick is the elder statesman in the West with his 15 seasons and consecutive division titles. The Fire are led by emerging star Trenidad Trajano on offense and ace Juan Vincente on the mound. Ivy Latham is having a tremendous season but is only 8-9 on teh year. This team has the talent to go deep into the playoffs, but can they make up ground to get there?

Remaining schedule
Salem - 12 games vs. teams w/ winning record, 3 vs. St. Louis, 3 vs. Fresno
St. Louis - 24 games vs. teams w/ winning record, 3 vs. Salem, 3 vs. Fresno
Fresno - 22 games vs. teams w/ winning record, 3 vs. Salem, 3 vs. St. Louis

Prediction
It is hard to see Salem not winning the division with a lead and a favorable schedule. If Fresno can get out of there funk, they have a real chance at catching them. St. Louis may be there at the end, but they have 11 games remaining vs. Phlly and Durham. Salem should win - and be rewarded with a first round match-up with either Philly or Durham.


Wild Card #2 Analysis

The Standings
1. Montreal 63-59
2. Oklahoma City 63-60
3. New Orleans 62-60
4. St. Louis 61-61
5. Boston 60-63

The Contenders

Montreal
nhollan and his perennial powerhouse are seeking their 17th consecutive playoff appearance. They are led by MVP candidate (winner?) Henry Wise on offense and ace Sammy Iglesias. They must get better production out of Bill Reed if they are going to hold off the challengers.

Oklahoma City
robyoung is attempting to make the playoffs for the first time since season 16. Newcomer Alex Limon leads the offense, while B.C. Vincente leads the pitching staff with his best season yet. Youngster Jesus Bautista must play better

New Orleans
cincy111 is aiming for his first Wild Card in his 9 seasons (he does have 2 division titles). Stump Robinson leads the offense and Fritz Lynch is the ace.

St. Louis
2000man has won his division in 11 of his 22 1530 Homer seasons. The Cards are led by Archie Herzner on offense and the quasi-albino Blade Fox on the mound. Future HOF'r Clinton Clifton will need to step up if this team has a chance of catching Montreal

Boston
cincyreds90 is in danger of missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season after makig 18 straight. Yusmeiro Durazo leads a potent offense while journeyman Billy Barry is the best of a mediocre pitching staff.

Remaining Schedule
Montreal - 17 games vs teams w/ winning record, 3 vs. St Louis, 4 vs OKC, 3 vs New Orleans

Oklahoma City - 17 games vs teams w/ winning record, 6 vs. Boston, 4 vs Montreal, 3 vs St. Louis, 3 vs. New Orleans

New Orleans - 23 games vs. teams w/ winning record, 3 vs Montreal, 3 vs OKC, 4 vs St. Louis

St. Louis - 24 games vs. teams w/ winning record, 3 vs Montreal, 3 vs OKC, 4 vs New Orleans

Boston - 19 games vs teams w/ winning record, 6 vs. OKC

Prediction
It's hard to bet against Montreal. If anyone can catch them, it will either be New Orleans or OKC, with OKC the more likely due to a more favorable remaining schedule. Ultimately, Montreal will win the spot, they are aging and will go all out to keep the streak alive for at least one more year.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 6 Rankings

1. Cincinnati Redlegs
2. Durham Tar Heels
3. Jacksonville TIMUACAN'S
4. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants
5. Memphis Blue's
6. Helena Hustle
7. Chicago Black Sox
8. Los Angeles Hollywoods
9. Houston Hangovers
10. Salem Aggies

Dropped
9. St. Louis Cardinals
10. Louisville Bats

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Rankings - Week 5

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (62-32) Prev #1 - Cincy stays at the top after a 10-7 week. They are 3-0 after the all-star break. Run differential +184

2. Durham Tar Heels (62-32) Prev #2 - Durham holds off a hard charging Jacksonville team with a 12-5 week. They have lost 2 of 3 since the all star break. Run differential +106

3. Jacksonville TIMUACAN'S (58-36) Prev #3 - A league best 13-4 for the week has Jacksonville firmly entrenched in the Top 3. They are 2-1 since the break. Run differential +119

4. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (55-39) - Prev #4 - The Top 4 stays the same, with Philly 2-1 since the break. They were 107 for the week. Run differential +83

5. Chicago Black Sox (55-39) - Prev #7 - Chicago vaults into the Top 5 after a 10-7 week. They are 3-0 since the break. Run differential +75

6. Helena Hustle (53-41) - Prev #5 - The Hustle drop a spot due to a 7-10 week. They have lost 9 of their last 10 games. Run differential +67

7. Memphis Blue's (54-40) - Prev NR - Les Bleus enter the top 10 on teh strength of a 10-7 week. They are 1-2 since the break. Run differential +47

8. Houston Hangovers (53-41) - Prev #6 - Houston continues its slide with an 8-9 week. They have lost 2 of 3 since the break. Run differential +54

9. St. Louis Cardinals (48-46) - Prev NR - The Cards are in on the back of an 11-6 week. They are 2-1 since the break. Run differential +41

10. Louisville Bats (52-42) - Prev #8 - The Bats hang on for dear life with a 9-8 week. They are 2-1 since the break. Run differential +37

Dropped
9. Baltimore
10 Salem

Just Missed
Baltimore
Salem
New Orleans
Montreal
LA

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekly Rankings - Week 4

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (52-25)Prev #1 - Clearly the best team in the league, Cincy owns the best record, expected win percentage, run differential, and record for the week. They swept Houston but lost 2 of 3 to Louisville. They are 1st in batting, 4th in pitching, and 3rd to last in fielding. Run differential +159

2. Durham Tar Heels (50-27) Prev #2 - Durham maintains their spot after an average 9-7 week. They were swept by Helena but have recovered with series wins vs. LA, Honolulu, and New Orleans. They are 5th in batting, above average in pitching, and 1st in fielding. Run differential +86

3. Jacksonville TIMUACAN'S (45-32) - Prev #8 - Jacksonville continues its climb after an 11-4 week, sweeping both KC and Cleveland. They are 6th in batting, above average in pitching, and 4th in fielding. Run differential +79

4. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (45-32) - Prev #6 - Philly also is climbing the rankings and was 12-4 on the week. They swept Helena and Louisville and split with Fresno. They are 4th in batting, above average in pitching, and below average in fielding. Run differential +78

5. Helena Hustle (46-31) - Prev #4 - The top NL team was 8-7 on the week. They were 8-4 vs. AL East teams, including a sweep of #2 Durham. They are 7th in Batting, 11th in Pitching, and below average in the field. Run differential +75

6. Houston Hangovers (45-32) - Prev #3 - Houston checks in in the second 5 after an average 7-8 week. They were swept by Cincy but took 2 of 3 from Montreal. They are above average in batting, 7th in pitching, and 2nd in fielding. Run differential +66

7. Chicago Black Sox (45-32) - Prev #7 - Chicago holds steady after a 10-6 week that included a sweep of Fresno. They are below average in batting, 1st in pitching, and above average in fielding. Run differential +29

8. Louisville Bats (43-34) - Prev NR - The walking wounded re-enter the Top 10 after an average 8-7 week. They are owner's of the NL's third best expected percentage and run differential. They are 8th in batting, average in pitching, and below average in fielding. Run differential +46

9. Baltimore Elite Giants (41-36) - Prev NR - The one percent'rs re-enter the top 10 on the strength of a 10-6 week. They were 4-8 vs. NL West teams but recovered nicely with a 4 game sweep of Montreal. They are above average in Batting, below average in Pitching, and 3rd in Fielding. Run differential +33

10. Salem Aggies (41-36) - Prev #10 - Salem stays in barely with an 8-8 week. They took 2 of 3 from Chicago but lost 3 of 4 to Cincinnati. They are average in batting, and 9th in both pitching and fielding. Run differential +38

Dropped
5. Montreal Garde Imperiale
9. New Orleans Causeway Cajuns 10. Salem Aggies

Just Missed
11. Montreal
12. Memphis

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekly Rankings - Week 3

Without further delay......

Team (Record) - record for the week, expected win percentage, run differential
1. Cincinnati Redlegs (40-22) - 15-9, .680, +122, Prev #1
2. Durham Tar Heels (41-20) - 19-4, .599, +66, Prev NR
3. Houston Hangovers (38-24) - 16-8, .603, +62, Prev NR
4. Helena Hustle (36-25) - 14-9, .605, +67, Prev #8
5. Montreal Garde Imperiale (38-24) - 13-11, .562, +45, Prev #5
6. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (33-28) - 13-10, .572, +46, Prev #9
7. Chicago Black Sox (35-26) - 10-13, .576, +41, Prev #3
8. Jacksonville TIMUACAN'S (34-28) - 16-8, .552, +33, Prev NR
9. New Orleans Causeway Cajuns (33-29) - 9-15, .574, +51, Prev #2
10. Salem Aggies (33-28) - 11-12, .561, +35, Prev #10

Dropped
4. Louisville Bats
6. Baltimore Elite Giants
7. Detroit Tigers

Just Missed
11. Louisville
12. Kansas City
13. Dover
14. New York

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Tar Heels Are Unstoppable!

Will they ever lose? 11 in a row and counting.

When reached for comment, smug jmercer77 had this to say "Blog curse? Never! I am the best! I probably won't lose a single remaining game! And my guys will stay healthy for the entire season, no problem! Curse me? Curse you, stupid blog!".

Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekly Rankings - Week 2

1. Cincinnati Redlegs (25-13) - Prev 4 - Cincy had a very good 13-7 week that included a sweep of Philly. They are 1st in Batting, 10th in Pitching, and 3rd to last in Fielding. Run differential +83

2. New Orleans Causeway Cajuns (24-14) - Prev 3 - New Orleans continued their hot start with another very good week. Their 13-7 campaign included a series split with Salem. They are 3rd in Batting, 6th in Pitching, and 2nd to last in Fielding. Run differential +77

3. Chicago Black Sox (25-13) - Prev NR - Chicago catapults into the top 10 with a league best 14-6 week. They took 2 of 3 from Detroit but lost 2 of 3 to Houston. They are average in Batting, 1st in Pitching, and 13th in Fielding. Run differential +50

4. Louisville Bats (23-15) - Prev 10 - A very good 12-7 week propels the Bats into the Top 5. They took 2 of 3 from Helena and swept Dover. They are 4th in Batting, average in Pitching, and below average in Fielding. Run differential +42

5. Montreal Garde Imperiale (25-13) - Prev 7 - Montreal continued its fast start with a very good 13-6 week. They swept both Durham and Jacksonville. They are 2nd in Batting and far below average in both Pitching and Fielding. Run differential +31

6. Baltimore Elite Giants (21-17) - Prev NR - The E-Gees enter the Top 10 on the strength of a 13-7 week. They swept Salt Lake but lost 2 of 3 to Cincinnati. They are 5th in Batting, below average in Pitching, and 4th in Fielding. Run differential +38

7. Detroit Tigers (22-16) - Prev 6 - The Tigers fall one spot after an average 11-9 week. They lost 2 of 3 to Chicago and spilt with Memphis. They are 7th in Batting, below average in Pitching, and 9th in Fielding. Run differential +33

8. Helena Hustle (22-16) - Prev 5 - The champs drop 3 spots after an 11-9 week. They won 3 of 4 from Houston but lost 2 of 3 to Louisville. They are 9th in both Batting and Pitching, and above average in Fielding. Run differential +31

9. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (20-18) - Prev 9 - Philly continues its surprisingly average play with another 10-9 week. They did, however, have a brutal schedule with 13 games against Top 5 teams, going 4-9 in those contests. They are 6th in Batting, 11th in Pitching, and average in the field. Run differential +40

10. Salem Aggies (22-16) - Prev 2 - Salem cooled off after its hot start and was 10-10 for the week. They took 4 of 7 from Boston and split with New Orleans. They are average in Batting, 4th in Pitching, and below average in Fielding. Run differential +26

Dropped
1. Houston Hangovers
8. Los Angeles

Just Missed
Houston

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekly Rankings - Week 1

1. Houston Hangovers (13-5) - Preseason #2 - The Hangovers are clearly the best team in the league after the first week. They own the best record, expected win percentage, and the second-best run differential. They swept Detroit and took 2 of 3 from Louisville. They are 12th in Batting, 1st in Pitching, and 4th in Fielding. Run differential +41

2. Salem Aggies (12-6) - Preseason NR - Salem is off to a very good start, although they have yet to play a team currently in the Top 10. They own the second best record and expected win percentage, and the third-best run differential. They are 10th in Batting, 2nd in Pitching, and above average in Fielding. Run differential +40

3. New Orleans Causeway Cajuns (11-7) - Preseason NR - New Orleans' fast start includes a series win vs. Cincinnati. They are owners of the best run differential and third-best expected win percentage. They are 6th in Batting, 4th in Pitching, and 2nd-to-last in Fielding. Run differential +42

4. Cincinnati Redlegs (12-6) - Preseason #1 - The pre-season favorites have not disappointed, taking 2 of 3 from rival Montreal in the process. They are 2nd in Batting, 9th in Pitching, and below average in Fielding. Run differential +35

5. Helena Hustle (11-7) - Preseason #4 - The champs are showing no signs of complacency, although they did get swept by LA. They are 5th in Batting, 12th in Pitching, and 14th in Fielding. Run differential +26

6. Detroit Tigers (11-7) - Preseason #9 - The off-season champs didn't let a sweep at the hands of Houston derail their promise. They are 3rd in Batting, below average in Pitching, and 5th in Fielding. Run differential +22

7. Montreal Garde Imperiale (12-7) - Preseason NR - Montreal is off to its tradionally fast start, although they did lose 2 of 3 to rival Cincinnati. They are 1st in Batting, and below average in both Pitching and Fielding. Run differential +21

8. Los Angeles Hollywoods (11-8) - Preseason #8 - LA is as advertised. They shook off a slow start to take 7 of 8 from Top 10 teams Helena and Louisville. They are average in Batting, 5th in Pitching, and 11th in Fielding. Run differential +15

9. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (10-9) - Preseason #3 - Philly is off to an uneven start. They took 5 of 7 from Boston and Durham, but were swept in 4 games by New Britain. They are 8th in both Batting and Pitching, but below average in the field. Run differential +15

10. Louisville Bats (11-8) - Preseason NR - The 'Ville squeaks in on the strength of an 11-8 start. They did have, however, a difficult time with Top 10 teams Houston and Los Angeles - losing 5 out of 7 games. They are 4th in Batting, and below average in both Pitching and Fielding. Run differential +13

Just Missed
Jacksonville
St. Louis

Preseason Top 10 Not on the List
#5 Jacksonvilel
#6 Durham
#7 Dover
#10 Kansas City

Friday, October 21, 2011

How They Did It - Memphis and Detroit

These have been popular in the past, so here is a new twist. I asked two owners to contribute, one who made moves in the off-season to win now, and another who made moves to ensure long-term success. Now, mind you, these two strategies are not mutually exclusive, but it is interesting nevertheless. Without further ado -

Memphis Blue's

Program/Owner History
The franchise was run by mtorabdaddy (current owner of Detroit) for 17 of its first 18 seasons and went 1398-1356. He guided the team to 11 stragight winning seasons, 4 playoff berths, and a World Series in Season 12. Bencap took over in Season 17 and the franchise is 269-217 in his 3 seasons.

Previous Two Seasons
A 92-70 record in Season 21 earned the Blue's a 2nd place finish in the AL South and out of the playoffs. In Season 20, Memphis finished 100-62, earning the first division title and playoff berth in franchise history.

Franchise Budget
With a payroll of $125 million, Memphis came into Season 22 with the largest payroll in 1530. A high player budget meant very low prospect, advance scout, HS scout, College Scout, and International Scouting. Medical was average and Training was high.

Transactions
traded Cristobal Mantalban for Midre Cervantes
traded Chad Clarke for Omar Cerda and Pep Hodges
traded Clinton Clifton for Rico Soto and Cody Ott
traded Don Guerrero for Dicky Barnes and Albert Burnett
traded Erv Johnstone and Mateo Martinez for Cyrus Holdridge, Babe Flaherty, and Cesar Rodriguez
traded Oswaldo Pizzaro and Alberto Martinez for Ed Hellickson
traded Sandy Ramsey for Jay Owen
traded Dwight Duncan and Midre Robinson for Robin Jepsen
signed Shayne Lincoln, Greg Payne, Victor Olmeda, Livan Pascual, and Bernie Ozuna in Free Agency
selected Amos Lewis in Rule V Draft
promoted Marquis Moriarty

Bencap's Summary
Going into this season I was fully expecting to compete with pretty much the same team I had last season then i was able to pretty much simaltanously owrk out a trade with Detroit involving Cristobal Mantalban, who I realized was a bad fit for my park,
for Midre Cervantes and another trade with Montreal involving Chad Clarke for Omar Cerda and Pep Hodges . At that point I had put some solid prospects in my system with one to build around in Cervantes. I still had a solid ML squad and then the offers kept pouring in for vetearns from other owners, so I figured I was in the Drivers seat at that point and would only make deals of fair value, THIS WAS NOT A SALARY DUMP,
I added legitmate prospects in a pretty barren system. Money benefit was secondary. In subsequent trades I aquired prospects Dicky Barnes Cody Ott Cesar Rodriguez Ed Hellickson and Jay Owen . I was able to stock my system while I believe keeping a still competitve ML team. I expect the ML squad to compete for a wildcard spot with great defense and solid pitching. If not the talent in the system will be ready to bloom in the next 2-3 seasons. I believe the weak free agent market and the skills of the owners in this league both contributed to this whirlwind of a season for the Memphis Blues!

Blog Summary
This is a real lesson in how to rebuild a team that is aging and expensive. bencap went for it the last couple of seasons, fell short, and adjusted on the fly. In my opinion, based upon the budget, bencap decided to take the course of action after seeing that others were willing to take on his aging, quality vets and their remaining contracts AND offer quality prospects in return. He saw all of that money coming due in the future and had no choice, really, if he were to build for the future. He cleared $71 Million (YES $71 MILLION!) off of his Season 22 budget, $52 million off of his Season 23 budget, $42 Million off of his Season 24 budget, and $4 million off of his Season 25 budget. Amazing work. On the downside, he should have a bad season and spent so little on international scouting that we will have a hard time finding a place to put all of that saved cash. Additionally, he is limited in how he can budget next season as he can only raise his categories by $4 million. Unless, of course, he decides to move cities and re-set his budget. In all, bencap did a very good job in building for the future.

Detroit Tigers

Program/Owner History
mtorabdaddy is the 6th owner of the franchise and is in his 4th season as owner. He has complied a 227-259 record and has made the playoffs once. The franchise has a total of 4 playoff appearances, but has never advanced past the DCS, and is 1571-1831 in 21 seasons.

Previous Two Seasons
A 68-93 record was a disappointment in Season 20 after a Season 19 playoff appearance. Season 21 was a dismal 58-104 campaign.

Budget Summary
mtorab came into the season with a fairly conservative budget. He had 67 million in player salaries, 20 in prospect and medical, and averge numbers in all other categories. It certainly wasn't the budget of someone planning on going for broke. He did transfer $14 million from prospects to players once his strategy materialized.

Transactions
got Cristobal Mantalban for Midre Cervantes
got Rob Park for Neifi Lee
got Benji Neill and Gustavo Melo for Freddy Shelby, Davey Wood, and Octavio Sierra
got Oswaldo Pizzaro and Alberto Martinez for Ed Hellickson
signedBenji Pulido, Yonder Cabrera, and Jim Stone in Free Agency

Mtorabdaddy's Summary
I initially wanted to rebuild my entire organization from the ground up but sometimes plans don't always move forward as you initially want them to. The first piece to the puzzle was acquiring Hardtke after the waiver deadline last season. My offense was awful and he was a much needed boost at the C position. I had been after Mantalban for several seasons and was finally able to land him and sign him to a long term deal so he will be a fixture at 1B for many seasons to come. The Neill/Melo deal got me the high OBP guy I was looking for while I felt a change of scenary would definitely help Melo. I look for Melo to knock on the door for a Cy Young award this season. Pulido fell into my lap at 3B because no one wanted to pay him up front. He should be a big help and was actually someone I had targeted for several seasons prior. The Pizzaro and Martinez deal was tough to move an up and coming arm but Martinez is signed to a long-term deal so I hope he can give my rotation a shot in the arm. Pizzaro was the glove I sought at SS. While I was extremely happy with my acquisitions, I did not budget properly and had to move from my prospect budget to pay for these acquisitions. I am hoping that my #1 will sign and eventually pan out to offset all of the prospects I dealt but I plan on continuing to build through the draft and FA in upcoming seasons.

Blog Summary
Much like Memphis, Detroit did not budget for their eventual strategy, they adjusted on the fly. Once it was clear that they could acquire some major talent, they went for it, with impressive results. Neill in an MVP candidate, Melo is primed for a big season, and the other pieces all fit an area of need. Another thing to note, all of the guys that they acquired are young and have some good years left in them. Neill is unsigned for next season, but will bring a Type A if not retained. Melo is young and should be a #1 SP for Detroit for at least 5 more seasons. I see Detroit competing for a playoff berth this season and for many seasons to come. Very well done.

Overall Summary
Both of these teams are in better shape today than tehy were at the begining of the season. Their definition of success, however, is different. Memphis succeeded in removing an avalanche of cash from their future payroll, while at the same time inject future talent into the system. Detroit took a 60 win team to a team projected to win 90 or so, all while staying within very conservative budget restraints. Both show that if you work hard on trades and adjust when an opportunity presents itself, good things can happen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Congrats John Fikac

John Fikac became only the second pitcher to join the Hall, getting 17 votes in the process. He was a very worthy candidate and checked all of the right boxes (multiple all-star, multiple Cy Young, ERA under 4.00, over 200 wins, and under .700 OPS allowed).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Preseason Top 10

1. Cincinnati Redlegs

Season 21 - 102-60, AL North Champ,#1 Final Ranking, Lost in DCS to Montreal
Additions - None
Subtractions - None
Potential AAA Call-ups - None
Summary - So basically the Season 22 Redlegs are the exact same team as the Season 21 Redlegs, which is a good thing. griffey491 returs his entire #1 ranked offense, as well as his entire pitching staff. There is no reason to believe that this team won't make the playoffs, and no reason to believe that it doesn't have the best chance to win it all.
Prediction - AL North Champ, AL Pennant, World Series Champ

2. Houston Hangovers

Season 21 - 100-62, NL South Champ, #3 Final Ranking, Lost in LCS to Helena
Additions - Sherman Wooten,
Subtractions - Dutch Velarde, J.B. Ryan, Jiggs Hodges, Clay Norman
Potential AAA Call-ups - none
Summary - The #1 team in the NL last season has lost some parts, but not enough to knock them down. They still have the most dominant 1,2,3 SP's in the game, and possess just enough pop to give their 3 aces just enough support. I see a bit of a decline in terms of overall record, but they are still the #1 team in the NL.
Prediction - NL South Champ, NL Pennant, WS Runner-up

3. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants
Season 21 - 98-64, Wild Card #1, #4 Final Ranking, AL Pennant, WS Runner-up
Additions - Darryl Dessens, Warren Hogan, Willie Nunez
Subtractions - Benji Rosa, Eric Ross,
Potential AAA Call-ups - none
Summary - The loss of two veteran SP's is somewhat mitigated by the addition of 3 solid free agents. There is still plenty of talent here, and with the losses at both Durham and Boston, the opportunity is there to win the division.
Prediction - AL East Champ, lose in LCS

4. Helena Hustle
Season 21 - NL West Champ, #5 Final Ranking, NL Pennant, WS Champ
Additions - Clinton Cole
Subtractions - Vic Martin, Harry Guillon
Potential AAA Call-ups - Stan Walker
Summary - The Champ re-signed most of their players from Season 21. Walker could provide some power at a skill position if promoted. I expect another good season, but the division is loaded. Another run is possible, but unlikely
Prediction - NL Wild Card #1

5. Jacksonville TIMUCUAN'S
Season 21 - 101-61, AL South Champ, Lost in DPiS to Montreal
Additions - Enrique Vincente
Subtractions - Brian Williams, Don Iwamura,
Potential AAA Call-ups - Louis Jones
Summary - Jacksonville is always in the mix. They have won the south 3 out of the last 4 seasons and there is little reason to beleieve that that will change. The losses of young SP's Iwamura and Williams will hurt, but Vincente is a difference maker on offense.
Prediction - AL South Champ

6. Durham Tar Heels
Season 21 - 103-59, AL East Champ, #2 Final Ranking, Lost in DCS to Philadelphia
Additions - Orlando Calderone, Matty Jennings
Subtractions - Benji Neill, Gustavo Melo, Darryl Dessens
Potential AAA Call-ups - Max Winn
Summary - The AL East Champ was active in the off-season. Neill will be missed and is irreplacable, Melo never lived up to his promise and call-up Winn is an upgrade. Calderone and Jennings are starters vs. lefties and add depth. Still a very good team, although aging.
Prediction - Wild Card #1

7. Dover Red Stockings
Season 21 - 92-70, NL North runner-up
Additions - Tyrone Moyer, Carmine Ross, Jose Cordero
Subtractions - Roger Ashby
Potential AAA Call-ups - none
Summary - Dover was on the brink of making the playoffs last season, and the blog believes that this is the year that they break through. They are stacked on offense, and should have just enough pitching to make a run at a division title.
Prediction - NL East Champ

8. Los Angeles Hiollywoods
Season 21 - 94-68, Wild Card #2
Additions - Kenji Abe, Pat Day
Subtractions - Steven Starr, Reese Mays
Potential AAA Call-ups - George Hogan
Summary - LA is always competetive and this season should be no different. Day should add some pop to the lineup, and the rotation remains one of the best in the game.
Prediction - NL West Champ

9. Detroit Tigers
Season 21 - 58-104 in NL North
Additions - Benji Pulido, Cristobal Mantalban, Gustavo Melo, Benji Neill, Rob Park, Oswaldo Pizzaro
Subtractions - Juan Alvarez
Potential AAA Call-ups - Glen Stone
Summary - Extreme Makeover: Whatifsports Edition! So how do you from a 50 win season to the Top 10? You have a new starter a virtually very position and a new #1 SP. Neill is arguably the best player in the game, and Mantalban and Park bring much needed power to the lineup. The pitching is still a question mark, but the a playoff appearance is not out of the question for the most improved team in the NL.
Prediction - NL North Champ

10. Kansas City Crusaders
Season 21 - 61-101, 2nd in NL North
Additions - Jiggs Hodges, Kevin Yamaguchi, Mateo Martinez, Erv Johnstone, Sandy Ramsey, Brian Williams
Subtractions - Glenn Franklin, Juan Parra
Potential AAA Call-ups - Alberto Morlan, Al Iglesias, Dioner Soriano, Timothy Bryant, Hee Wan, Midre Valentin, Eduardo Cortez
Summary - KC's time is now, and I expect their patience to start paying off this season. They have a AAA roster that would beat most ML teams, and enough talent at the ML level to challenge for the division title and maybe more. The big question is will they promote their AAA guys this year or next? Either way, the blog is going to have to get used to including them in the rankings for a long time.
Prediction - NL Wild-Card #2

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HOF Cheat Sheet - Positional players

Until Rogers Torrealba (WinShare of 2.26) crashed the party, the HOF was exclusively for players with a win share over 4 (Adam Lansing was lowest at 4.34).

Here are the top candidates and their win share:

Jorge Ortiz - 5.02
Gary Thornton - 4.71
Alex Johnson - 4.64
George Bowie - 4.32
Thom Martin - 3.11
Juan Beltre- 2.96
Sparky McNamara - 2.93
Donne Vina - 2.52
Sidney Allen - 2.05

Monday, October 10, 2011

HOF Cheat Sheet - SP's

I like OPS allowed as a stat to compare pitchers. It is the stat that they have the most control over. I took the candidates, compared them to the average pitcher that played in their league in their year for every year that they pitched, and came up with an "OPS Allowed Under Avereage Pitcher OPS Allowed". Here are the results:

SP's in the HOF
Rob Branson

OPS Allowed Under Average - .154
Wins - 202
Win Percentage - .743
Strikeouts - 2366
ERA - 3.09
WHIP - 1.18

Candidates (rank amongst other candidates in parenthesis)

John Fikac

OPS Allowed Under Average - .095 (1)
Wins - 239 (1)
Win Percentage - .664 (2)
Strikeouts - 2530 (2)
ERA - 3.64 (1)
WHIP - 1.23 (T-1)

Tim Mench

OPS Allowed Under Average - .091 (2)
Wins - 164 (4)
Win Percentage - .631 (3)
Strikeouts - 1661 (4)
ERA - 3.73 (3)
WHIP - 1.28 (3)

Karl Greenberg

OPS Allowed Under Average - .090 (3)
Wins - 175 (3)
Win Percentage - .706 (1)
Strikeouts - 1728 (3)
ERA - 3.65 (2)
WHIP - 1.29 (4)

Stephen Schourek

OPS Allowed Under Average - .082 (4)
Wins - 221 (2)
Win Percentage - .577 (4)
Strikeouts - 3062 (1)
ERA - 3.78 (4)
WHIP - 1.23 (T-1)

Free Agency Day 3

1. Dutch Velarde, CF, Salem, 4 years $25.8 million

Analysis - Dutch has been a regular for Houston for the previous 6 ML seasons. He has an excellent glove, very good power, and can hit righties, but his eye is suspect. His career OPS of .828 is very good for a skill position - a good signing.

2. Brian Williams, SP/RP, Kansas City, 5 years $63 million

Analysis - The biggest contract given in the off-season goes to Williams, and he is clearly being paid starter money. He's a very good pitcher that is somewhat limited by his so-so stamina (for a starter, anyways). He has a career ERA of 3.92 and WHIP of 1.29. His OPS allowed is .703. All good numbers for an SP, and at 30 years old, he is likely to see out his contract as long as his stamina holds out.

3. Benji Rosa - SP, Salem, 3 years $18 million

Analysis - A top 5 available SP, Rosa is still going strong at 36 years old. Hopefully, he will have more success in Salem this time around as he was 11-40 in his last two years as an Aggie. Career numbers are skewed by those years, but he is an effective SP that will produce for at least two years.

4. Jose Cordero, SS, Dover, 2 years $7.8 million

Analysis - Dover picks up the top true (glove, range, arm ac, arm str all over 80) SS on the market. Cordero is a career .970 fielder at SS wih 0 negative plays. At the dish, he is a career .253 hitter with an OPS of .668 - acceptable numbers for a plus defender at the most important defensive position.

5. Francis Herzog, CF, Helena 3 years $19 million

Analysis - A shrewd signing for what is proving to be one of the top teams in the game. Signed to a contract front-loaded in the first two years, Herzog will be a nice addition to the WS champ. He is a career .284 batter with a .974 OPS. While not an ideal CF, his range and glove will allow him to play multiple positions. A very good signing.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Free Agency Day 2

Here are some of the top deals for Day 2:

1. Kevin Yamaguchi, RP, Kansas City, 5 yrs $27.1 million

Analysis - Kansas City is clearly a team on the rise and only a few pieces away from being complete. This move helps solidify KC's bullpen, and the front-loaded contract keeps KC's options open. The Gooch has a career 4.06 ERA and .739 OPS allowed

2. Todd Frey, RF, San Francisco, 4 years $30 million

Analysis - Another talented RF signed this offseason. Not as good as Owen, but still plays at a very high level. Career OPS of .885 with over 300 homers and 1000 runs and RBI's. Low make-up might lead to earlier than expected decline, but still a very good player.

3. Jiggs Hodges, RP, Kansas City, 3 years $16.8 million

Analysis - Signed yesterday, Jiggs fills another hole for up and coming KC. Career ERA of 4.86 and OPS allowed of .751, largely inflated by his time playing in homer-friendly Durham. Another front loaded contract and Jiggs' excellent make-up should see him contribute for all 3 years.

4. Rondell May, 3B, Baltimore, 4 years $25.6 million

Analysis - A defensive specialist with a slightly above average bat, May should fit nicley into Baltimore's starting line-up. A career .267 batter with an OPS of .722. He is a gold glove candidate at every position but SS or C.

5. Eric Ross, SP, Oklahoma City, 2 years $11.2 million

Analysis - A 38 year old lefty, Ross is 155-148 with a career ERA of 4.55 and a career OPS allowed of .766. Elite make-up should see him finish out his contract and be a productive middle of the rotation guy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Free Agency - Day 1

Here are today's top signings

1. Esteban Owen, RF, Montgomery, 2 years, $11.6 million

Analysis - Owen is former MVP and 5 time all-star. He has a career average of .308 and an OPS of .991. At 34, he is losing some power, but will still be a good bet to bat over .300 and produce an OPS over .900. Very good value here.

2. Billy Ray Simpkins, 3B, St. Louis, 2 years, $12.2 million

Analysis - Simpkins is a career .268 hitter with a .783 OPS. He is better suited to play RF at this point in his career, but will still kill lefties. Career .353 OBP due to very good eye. Another good signing.

3. Benji Pulido, SS, Detroit 4 years, $31.6 million

Analysis - Detroit has improved their ML team more than any other this offseason (with St. Louis a close 2nd). They have added Benji Neill, Cristobal Mantalban,and Gustavo Melo through trades, and now a very good player in Pulido. Better suited for 3B, he has plenty of power and speed. Should be a good addition to a potential playoff team.

4. Brendan Watson, 1B, Helena, 2 years, $10 million

Analysis - One of those under the radar deals that makes a team a contender (or in this case, a WS champ). A little suspect at 1B, Watson more than makes up for it at the dish with a career OPS of .927. His power has faded a bit, but he is still a candidate to hit 40 HRs.

5. Paulie Fox, SP, Baltimore, 4 years, $26 million

Analysis - Thought by many to be the top SP on the market, Fox signed a relatively tame contract which indicates that there wasn't much interest in him. he is 62-63 with an ERA of 4.66, and an OPS allowed of .764. He is coming off of a very good year in Boston, and a repeat performance is not out of the question. A good pickup for Baltimore.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Season 10 Draft Review - Picks 1-5

1. Benji Neill, 2B, Chicago (now Detroit)

Owner - Drafted by tzentmeyer
Overall Rating - 62 at time of draft, currently 89
Current Age - 30
Current Team - Detroit
Transactions - Traded to Durham in Season 20, Traded to Detroit in Season 22
DL - 15-day in Season 16
Contract Status - In the last year of a 4 year deal, unknown status for Season 23
Awards - 7x all-star, 3x Silver Slugger LF, 1 Gold Glove LF, voted all-decade LF
Stats - .324 BA, .927 OPS, 191 HR's, 745 RBI's
Summary - Any all-decade selection was a great pick. He is consistent and worth every penny. Perennial MVP candidate, although ability to play 2B is declining.

2. Keith Lanning, SS, Los Angeles (now St. Louis)

Owner - buckeye2280
Overall Rating - 61 at draft, 85 current
Current Age - 30
Current Team - Philadelphia
Transactions - Traded to Philadelphia in Season 17
DL - 15-day and 60-day stints in Season 20
Contract Status - Signed through Season 23 on his 2nd ML deal
Awards - 2x all-star, 2x silver slugger SS
Stats - .279BA, .859 OPS, 313 HR's, 913 RBI's
Summary - An amazing glove (and temper), with plus power for any position. He's a very good player and an acceptable defensive SS. One of the best all-around SS's in the game.

3. Cory Clark, SP

Owner - meece
Overall Rating - 75 at draft, 84 currently
Current Age - 32
Current Team - Buffalo
Transactions - 2 contract extensions, never traded
DL - never on DL
Contract Status - In the last year of his second ML contract. Unknown if re-signable
Awards - 6x all-star
Stats - 152-100, with a 3.30 ERA AND 1.18 WHIP. OPS allowed of .656
Summary - Great value for meece. He's never been on the DL and has produced for 10 ML seasons. A durable, dependale, inning eating #1.

4. Reese Mays, SP, Florida (now Oklahoma City)
Owner - robyoung81
Overall Rating - 59 at draft, 73 currently
Current Age - 33
Current Team - LA
Transactions - traded to Houston in Season 11, traded to Atlanta in Season 15, traded to Jacksonville in Season 20, released in Season 21, signed by LA in Season 21
DL - 5 stints, with 2 in the majors (one a 60-day trip)
Contract Status - under last year of a 2-year deal, scheduled to be a Free Agent
Awards - 1x All-star
Stats - 53-51 with a 4.89 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. OPS allowed of .781
Summary - Full of promise but derailed by injury. Not a bad pick, OKC did get many productive years from Tomas Martinez, who they received in a trade for Mays. A career long reliever.

5. Luis Morales, SS, Atlanta (now Chicago)
Owner - bbeane
Overall Rating - 72 at draft, 88 at peak, 85 at the moment
Current Age - 32
Current Team - Los Angeles
Transactions - Traded to LA in Season 12
DL - 1 15-day visit in Season 18
Contract Status - In the last year of 1st ML deal. Scheduled to be a free agent in Season 22
Awards - 3x All-star, 1 Silver Slugger at 2B, 1 Gold Glove at RF
Stats - .268 BA, .789 OPS, 268 HR's, 804 RBI's
Summary - Inexplicably declining (elite makeup and almost maxed out Training/Medical budgets), he has never reached his SS potential, but can play every other position except CF and C. Very good offensive ratings, but stats hurt by spacious LA ballpark.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Maddie's Top Free Agents

Position Players

Overall
1. Francis Herzog - 109.74
2. Esteban Owen - 100.86
3. Billy Ray Simpkins - 100.60
4. Benji Pulido - 98.82
5. Omar Flores - 97.41
Offensive
1. Francis Herzog - 81.18
2. Brant Balfour - 76.63
3. Esteban Owen - 74.60
4. Brendan Watson - 74.59
5. Orlando Calderone - 73.50
Defensive
1.Ivan Pena - 38.31
2. Danys Rivas - 36.51
3. Marvin Holloway - 36.42
4. Jose Cordero - 36.04
5.Rondell May - 35.60

Starting Pitchers (Stamina > 60)
1. Paulie Fox - 82.80
2. Marvin Campbell - 77.97
3. Benji Rosa - 77.44
4. Wade Redmond - 77.04
5. Eric Ross - 76.51
RP's (stamina < 60)
1. Brian Williams - 100.49
2. Roger Ashby - 87.49
3. Kevin Yamaguchi - 86.48
4. Jiggs Hodges - 84.36
5. Tom Mitchell - 83.75

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Design

I was bored and switched up the design. Now, all polls will be on the right, and all other info (records, etc.) on the left. I'm not sure that I like it or not, so have your say in the poll.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Congrats Helena!

The Helena Hustle defeated the Philadelphia Bacharach Giants to claim their first World Series title. Josias Pulido went 7-16 in the series, with 2 HR's and 6 RBI's. Angel Palmeiro won the first and last games, going 14 innings and giving up 4 runs.

Monday, September 26, 2011

World Series Preview

Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (98-64) vs. Helena Hustle (97-65)

Overview
Helena owner ncapodagli has, in 3 seasons, gone from 63 wins to the World Series. It is the first appearance for the franchise in the WS, and would be the first WS win for ncapodagli. Philly owner kylepeak72 has built his team into a powerhouse, but this is their first (as well as his first) appearance in a WS. In any event, we will have a new World Series winner for the first time since Season 17.

Regular Season/Playoffs
Helena won their first NL West title since Season 13 with their best record since Season 12. They beat LA in 4 games, Chicago in 5, and came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat Houston in 7. Philadelphia claimed the first Wild Card spot with a 98-64 record. They swept Scottsdale, beat Durham in 5, and defeated Montreal in 6.

Likely Match-ups

Game 1 - Timothy Crawford (16-7) vs. Angel Palmeiro (12-9)

Game 2 - Willie Wheat (19-6) vs. Tommy Hardy (13-3)

Game 3 - Anthony Patterson (11-8) vs. Richard Aoki (17-9)

Prediction

Both teams produced runs during the season. Helena had the better pitching staff, and Philly the better fielding unit. Helena could be a team of destiny, but I think that it is finally Philly's time. Philly in 6.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Average OPS

I saw this on Lance's blog and thought it would be a good thing to do for our world. Here is the average OPS for each league and each position. I used either the top 25 players for each position or those that played over 100 games for the data, whichever was less.

AL

C - .730
1B - .839
2B - .754
3B - .769
SS - .687
LF - .788
CF - .723
RF - .793
DH - .815

NL

C - .762
1B - .805
2B - .767
3B - .752
SS - .674
LF - .777
CF - .751
RF - .803

Thursday, September 22, 2011

LCS Preview

AL

#6 Montreal Garde Imperiale (91-71) vs. #5 Philadelphia Bacharach Giants (98-64)

Overview
So the two Wild-cards in the AL will meet for a ticket to the World Series. Defending Champ Montreal dispatched Jacksonville 3-1 in teh first round, then proceeded to do the same to division rival Cincinnati, also 3-1. Philly swept Scottsdale before taking care of division rival Durham, 3-1.

Regular Season
The series was split, with Philly at a +7 run differential

Pitching match-ups
Game 1 - Fritz Lynch (14-12) vs. Timothy Crawford (16-7)
Game 2 - Willie Wheat (19-6)vs. Sammy Iglesias (17-5)
Game 3 - Anthony Patterson (11-8) vs. Preston Forster (9-8)

Prediction - Many were writing off Montreal, and to be fair, they certainly didn't appear to be the Montreal of old until the end of the season. Philly is due, and my bet is that they take it in 6 games.

NL

#3 Helena Hustle (97-65) vs. #1 Houston Hangovers (100-62)

Overview
Houston won the WS in Season 19, disappeared in Season 20, and is back in form in Season 21. They swept Honolulu to reach this stage. Helena won a very cometitive NL West, then proceeded to eliminate West rival LA in 4 games, and Chicago in 5.

Regular Season
They spit 10 games, with Helena at a +2 run differential

Pitching Match-ups
Game 1 - Angel Palmeiro (12-9) vs. Willis Floyd (19-7)
Game 2 - Richard Aoki (17-9) vs. Dave Darr (19-6)
Game 3 - Tommy Hardy (13-3) vs. Geraldo Mendez (12-4)

Prediction

As much as I would like to go with the underdog, Houston's starting pitching is too good to bet against. My guees is that Helena steals a game, but Houston wins in 5 to reach another World Series.